Whether you’re an hourglass figure, a pear shape, an apple shape or any other shape, we know you have high expectations of your dream dress. It needs to fit perfectly, feel comfortable and supportive, flatter your figure to the max and express your unique sense of style, all while making you look and feel amazing.

However, there are also so many styles and shapes out there that it’s hard to know where to begin. So, if you haven’t already, make you sure you take a look at our Guide to Wedding Dress Shapes, which will help you work out which body shape you’re closest to. Also, our amazing bridal experts are always on hand (both online and instore) and are brilliant at helping even the most unsure or nervous bride. Below they’ve put together their top style tips for hourglass figures, with everything you need to know about what to look for in a dress. Alternatively, for all our other body shape guides just click here!

Heavenly hourglasses

You’re an hourglass figure if you…

  • Have a hip and bust measurement of roughly equal size
  • A narrower waist measurement
  • Have good size thighs
  • Your bottom and hips are slightly rounded

However, every bride’s figure is beautifully unique, so you most likely won’t fit the ‘hourglass figure’ box exactly. You may well overlap with other body shapes, too. For example, if your waist is undefined you might lean towards a rectangle shape or, if you carry more weight around your middle, then you may be a little bit apple shaped. So, be open to a secondary body shape too.

Decide what’s right for you

Then, once you’ve given your body shape some thought, take a minute to think about the following too…

  • What do you love about your body and want to highlight?
  • Which parts do you feel neutral about?
  • Are there any areas you’d like to draw attention away from?

These will be different for everyone, regardless of body shape. You might love your hourglass figure and want to highlight your curves as much as possible, while others would prefer to look less curvy. The choice is yours, there’s no right or wrong!

Key advice for an hourglass figure

  • Your figure is already well balanced, so follow your natural shape to keep your top and bottom in proportion while accentuating your waist.
  • Try not to unbalance your figure by making it either top or bottom heavy.
  • Invest in a good bra or a supportive bodice, to lift your bust and define a smaller waistline.
  • Add volume both top and bottom if you want to accentuate your curves
  • If you’d rather downplay your curves go for less embellishment and simple styles that are fitted at the waist
  • Avoid straight cuts and boxy styles that hide your waist

Design details to look out for…


The best silhouettes are ones that define your waist without adding bulk to your hips/bottom. Mermaid styles are ideal as they’re fitted in the middle and skim smoothly across the hips and bottom. They then flare out, which acts as a lovely balance to wider shoulders. 

A mermaid silhouette is perfect for an hour glass figure
Wedding dress featured: Dieana by VIva Bride

However, having an hourglass figure doesn’t mean you automatically want to maximise your curves. If you’d prefer something less fitted, go for a stylish A line skirt, which will beautifully highlight your waistline before flaring out. Tea lengths will do the same. 

An Aline silhouette is perfect for an hour glass figure
Wedding dress featured: Jaleesa by Viva Bride


Avoid boat or square necklines that visually widen the shoulder line. Halter necks will also make your shoulders look wider. Slightly rounded necklines are great because they’re not too wide or too narrow, while lower and wider necklines such as sweetheart or strapless are also a good choice. Choose a flattering V-neck if you want to show off your cleavage. A deep plunging V-neck will also draw eyes down to your waistline.

A strapless neckline is perfect for an hour glass figure
Wedding dress featured: Ashlin by Viva Bride

Straps and sleeves

As with the neckline, try not to choose sleeves that add volume to the shoulders. Fitted sleeves are perfect as they follow your body’s natural curve. If you go for cap sleeves make sure to balance them out with volume at the bottom, too. Avoid loose wide sleeves like angel sleeves, or too much detailing at the shoulders.

fitted sleeves are perfect for an hour glass figure
Wedding dress featured: Lidi by Viva Bride

A structured bodice

A lace-up bodice or one with good internal support will lift your chest and also pull you in at the waist, defining your mid-section.


If you want to accentuate your curves, add volume to both the bust and the hips with ruffles, embellishments etc. This will make your waist look even smaller. If you want to play them down, look for simpler, less detailed styles. Avoid skirts that have pleats, ruffles etc around the midsection and low waisted skirts that will hide your waistline and add volume lower down.


Lastly, hourglasses look amazing with a sparkling belt! Any belt will accentuate your neat waist, so whether you go for slim and glittery or something with a wow factor detail at the front, it’s a must-have!

Well, we hope our guide for an hourglass figure has given you an idea of where to start. Plus, if you’re still not sure what will suit you, don’t worry. Our friendly bridal experts (both online and instore) are brilliant at helping brides of every shape and size, find the perfect dress. They can also offer personalised advice tailored specifically to you and your unique figure. So drop in today, they can’t wait to help!

Click here to see the best dresses for an hourglass figure, then try on your favourites at your nearest WED2B store. Here’s what to expect when you visit, too. Lastly, for more inspiration, check out our Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts or read some of our brilliant real bride stories here.